The Scotsman

Thu 27 Mar 2003

Survey shows teenage girls match boys for levels of violence

The Scotsman

TEENAGE girls are just as likely to be involved in acts of physical violence as boys, the results of an academic study revealed yesterday.

The research showed that, between the sexes, boys are much more involved in most types of delinquency and begin offending at a younger age.

But its surprise findings indicate that girls are as capable of lashing out with their fists and hands as any male. The findings are the result of a major study of 170 Scottish youngsters aged 14 and 15 by psychologists from the Glasgow Caledonian University.

Camilla Pedersen, a researcher at the university, who presented the findings at a conference in Cambridge, said: "We were amazed because all the previous research suggests boys carry out more physical violence than girls."

The self-reported delinquency survey of 74 girls and 96 boys found that 17 per cent of girls asked had hit their parents, compared with just 5 per cent of the boys.

It also showed 60.8 per cent of the girls questioned admitted having been involved in a street fight, compared with 72.9 per cent of the boys.